One of Washington state’s quintessential spring sights, besides the gorgeous cherry blossoms, are the colorblock fields of tulips that pretty much transport you to the Netherlands. Read on for some handy day trip tips if hanging around in Tulip Town at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival sounds like your jam.
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival runs the whole month of April, but the timing of the blooms depends on the weather each year so check the website and the news before you go. Our colder and wetter than usual winter this year meant a later bloom in mid-April. My friends and I took the hour drive from Seattle up to Mount Vernon, where the festival is located, on April 15.
Some tips for my fellow tulip trekkers:
- Go early to beat the traffic! The festival opens at 9am, so we left Seattle at 8am. Our early start resulted in a smooth, traffic-free journey that got us to the relatively quiet and empty tulip farms at 9:20am. Around 11am, the fields got pretty crowded. On the way back, we witnessed cars at a standstill on their way to the tulip farms…not fun! If you’re not an early bird, you can also plan ahead and go on a weekday to avoid the crowds.
- Bring cash. Everything, including the entrance fee of $7 and the food and drinks, is cash only and the ATMs charge a withdrawal fee.
- Wear rainboots. Or other mud-proof shoes. The fields are very muddy and wet, which is to be expected of flower fields in forever-damp Washington. Wear whatever you need to frolic in the flowers!
- Take the scenic route. There are tons of tulip and daffodil fields besides the main farms that you pay to enter that you can enjoy just by driving around the area. The tulip festival website has a map of all the fields, and the roads have helpful green “Tulip Route” signs that you can follow. The area is also extremely beautiful because you’re surrounded by farmland, greenery, and mountains. It’s a breath of fresh air compared to the urban scenery of Seattle.
BTW, watch out for a DIY tutorial on my embroidered sweater, coming Tuesday!
Sweater: thrifted and DIY embroidery (tutorial coming on Tuesday)
Rainboots: you can’t see them, but I am predictably wearing my trusty Sam Edelman rainboots for ultimate waterproof frolicking comfort
Let me know if you’ve been to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival and if you have any recommendations for day trips in the Seattle area. I’d love to read your suggestions!